Wind the Clock

WARDEN, wind the clock again;
Mighty years are going on,
Through the shadow and the dream,
And the happy-hearted dawn.
Wind again, wind again, —
Fifty hundred years are gone.
Through the harvest and the need,
Wealthy June and dewy May,
Grew the new year from the old,
Grows to-morrow from to-day.
Wind again, wind again,—
Who can keep the years at bay ?
Four-and-twenty conjurers
Lie in wait on land and sea,
Plucking down the startled ship,
Bud-embroidering the tree.
Wind again, wind again, —
We have neither ship nor tree.
Four-and-twenty kings to come
Up the never-vacant stair,—
Four-and-twenty dead go down ;
Follow, sacred song and prayer.
Wind again, wind again, —
Warden, why delaying there ?
To his interrupted dream
Comes the long-entreated day.
What are lesser words to him ?
Sweet pursuing voices say,—
“ Warden, wind, wind again,
Up the ever-golden way.”
Other hands will wind the clock
While the frequent years go on,
Never noting need or name
Nor the rapture of the dawn.
Wind again, wind again,
Ere the given year be gone.